Occupational disruption and natural disaster: finding a 'new normal' in a changed context

Sima, Lenka, Thomas, Yvonne, and Lowrie, Daniel (2017) Occupational disruption and natural disaster: finding a 'new normal' in a changed context. Journal of Occupational Science, 24 (2). pp. 128-139.

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Abstract

Individuals affected by natural disasters can undergo critical life changes throughout the recovery process. With a forecast increase in frequency and impact of natural disasters, it is important to consider the occupational recovery process that individuals experience post-disaster. This qualitative descriptive study explored the experience of occupational disruption and occupational recovery of individuals after Cyclone Yasi struck a small, regional town in Northern Queensland, Australia. Nine semi-structured interviews from long-term residents of the town affected by Cyclone Yasi were conducted 2 years after the event. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and independently coded using thematic analysis by three researchers. Five interrelated themes were identified: Recovery occupations; Interruption to leisure and productive occupations; Reconstruction: A second disaster; Occupational liminality and A new normal. These themes point to a phased process of occupational recovery through which disaster survivors encounter numerous personal and contextual barriers, encumbering their return to re-engagement in meaningful occupational routines. The findings from this research offer insights into the support needs of both individuals and communities as they endeavour to overcome challenges associated with the recovery process.

Item ID: 48162
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2158-1576
Keywords: natural disaster; occupational disruption; occupational recovery; occupational adaptation
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 23:20
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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